This weekend saw the first round of the Empire PMBA Enduro Series taking place at Gisburn Forest. Titled ‘Escape to Gisburn’ the course saw a good mix of established trail centre trail, downhill course gnar and some new lines cut through the depths of the forest.
With Stage One starting at Whelpstone Crag and taking in both the Slab and Hully Gully the race began fast and flowy interrupted by a short power climb before dropping into those massive berms.
Stage Two named “Huck To Flat” was going to be the most technical of all, jumps and drops were in store for most riders on the top section and then the fresh cut muddy section waiting at the bottom. Freshly cut loam, flat rooty corners and some gnarly drop section’s kept every rider 100% focused all the way down. Even though it was the shortest stage of the day, it was still a physical battering, burning thighs and tight calves had most riders hanging at the bottom, a 10 minute rest and then it was back up to the top for stage three.
Stage Three, deep in the forest and with a ‘somewhat damp’ mid section was a challenge that defeated a few and pushed everyone’s maintaining momentum skills to the max. The mixture of sludge, roots and mini bomb holes making any hope of holding a line beyond the reach of many riders. Lean back, pedal hard and stay off the brakes was the best way to tackle the thick mud, a few dabs were necessary to keep upright on some of the deeper holes out there.
Once out of the woods the rest of the stage was back to trail centre gold, fast and dry with a decent amount of technical challenge to keep riders working all the way to the finish line. Seat down and sprinting hard before the last technical root section pushed every rider to the limit.
Sadly for some the course proved too much for chains and derailleurs, several riders relying on scooting and gravity to get them to the finish.
So there you have it the Empire PMBA Enduro round 1 all done and dusted, a fantastic mix of fast trail centre to freshly cut mud sections. The threatened rain held off and a top day of racing kicked off the series. We’re already looking forward to Round two.
Empire Cycles the title sponsor were showing off there MX6-Evo bike, 6 MX6-Evo frames are up for grabs for the series overall winners.
We’re also celebrating at ST Towers with a first podium for the Singletrack Dirtbag Enduro Team as our ‘office padowan’ Dan got third in Men Under 18.
1st Howard Stuttard
2nd Nicholas Wilkin
3rd Bill Comer
1st Andrew Mee
2nd Gary Britton
3rd Gerard Birch
1st Oliver McKenna
2nd Richard Guppy
3rd Nigel Pilling
1st Joe Young
2nd Matthew Ineson
3rd Joe Roberts
1st Emma Knight
2nd Nicole Mallet
3rd Kaylee Swift
Men Under 18
1st Scott Wooley
2nd Frazer Clacherty
3rd Dan Bladon
1st Lee Kermode
2nd Joe Flannagan
3rd Ben Whitehead
Full results can be found on the SportIdent website
You can enter future rounds here:
Round Two – 18th May 2014 – Grizedale
Enter Online here: Grizedale Event
Round Three – 15th June 2014 – Kirroughtree
Enter Online here: Kirroughtree Event
Round Four – 14th September 2014 – Gisburn
Enter Online here: Gisburn Event
Round Five – 04/05th October 2014 – Lee Quarry / Cockhill
Enter Online here: Lee Quarry / Cockhill